Do you remember the first poem you learned by heart? It sticks with you for life! I remember Growing Up, by Spike Milligan and performing it with great gusto during my first speech examination. This week, the ESB (English Speaking Board) examiners were treated to an anthology of poetry and superb performances by the pupils in Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4. 

Glossophobia, or a fear of public speaking, is a very common phobia. Numerous studies concur this affects up to 75% of the population at some point. How do we overcome this? By doing it, often! The pupils have spent hours preparing wonderful presentations about an array of topics. Some pupils spoke about their beloved family pet; others recounted a memorable outing; even Hermionine’s wand made a magical appearance. We have been astounded by the pupils’ willingness to throw themselves wholeheartedly into this challenge. 

Our pupils supported their peers as they recited poems, presented topics and read extracts from their favourite literature; they encouraged their friends, whilst asking purposeful questions, and they celebrated their friends’ successes.

The English Speaking Board’s vision is that all learners should possess the oracy and English language skills they need to achieve their aspirations. ESB’s vision statement fits with our own: Limitless Learning for Tomorrow’s Achievers. Our intention is to mitigate unconscious bias and to allow all pupils to develop the confidence to be seen, and to be heard.  

This was The Blue Coat School’s first step on an ESB journey; we are looking forward to building a bright future as we prepare the next generation of articulate and competent communicators. I’m sure a future Prime Minister lurks in our presence.

We are so proud of the pupils and teachers for their hard work and we would like to thank the parents for their unwavering support and encouragement while the pupils prepared for the assessments. This week has been an outstanding celebration of the pupils’ work ethic and dedication. Well done!

Mrs. Kavanagh Finch